I was looking for some fake wax lips for a costume party, some stick-em tattoos as part of a gag gift, and a tin car for a little boy's birthday present. I walked into Uncle Fun, and in a matter of minutes, the super friendly guy behind the counter found everything that I asked for. This is a fun place to buy that random whatchamacallit, and even if you're not looking to buy, it's fun to browse this store.
PROS: jam-packed with random fun stuff, helpful staff
I was first introduced to psychobaby by invitation to a Ralph Covert (folk singer) concert that was held in the store. If that wasn't cool enough, we were met with a great selection of cool toys, cool clothes, cool shoes... some stuff runs on the more expensive side (especially given that most of it is for someone under 3 feet tall), but overall it's a great destination children's store in a hip neighborhood.
PROS: great selection
There were three things that I really loved about this place:
First, the director Rosanne has a beautiful voice, a great personality, a genuine love for music, and an intuition for kids' responses to it.
Second, the atmosphere is great, with bubble machines, painted walls, and oversized plush animals to cuddle.
Third, Rosanne does a great job of introducing objects to the kids (such as musical instruments, puppets, scarves) and then asking them to put them away after each song. It really taught my child how to "let go" of an object and return it to its proper place, as hard as it may seem at first.
A great and worthwhile investment for your child's development of music appreciation.
PROS: delightful environment, great music, lively
Recently, I can't seem to find some of my favorite items at this Costco location. Rumor has it that they won't be carrying Pampers any longer. And I can never find the "costco size" jar of capers anymore. Also, some fruits and vegetables have gone bad after just a few days in the fridge, and when you're buying in bulk, you hope stuff can last long enough for you to enjoy the quantity. Don't know if it's a regional thing or not, but this Costco in particular hasn't seemed all that great.
PROS: convenient location, good parking
CONS: dropping some popular items
Although every aspect of your time at Gymboree is reinforced with "Gymbo" marketing, the kids really enjoy their time there. This particular location is super clean, the staff is very friendly, and the programs are fun and stimulating for the kids. Parking has always been a little tough for this location, but there's a parking area behind the center (ask the front desk about it) and you can access the place from the back door. They ticket like crazy along N Lincoln, so don't forget to bring the quarters.
PROS: clean, great staff, forgiving policy about make-ups
CONS: no coat racks in the front reception area
Walking along Southport, you might think that your pick of stores ends once you hit the Dairy Queen (headed North on Southport). Walk just a few more doors down, and you'll hit Persona. It's a great little gift shop that sparkles with lots of gem-laden frames, ceramics, glassware, jewelry and more. I've found many perfect house-warming gifts here, and the prices are totally reasonable.
PROS: lots of selection
CONS: warning to parents: not exactly stroller friendly
As a buyer, I've worked with Roy Hawthorne himself, and he's been nothing but professional, dedicated, patient, knowledgeable, in-tune and responsive. Hawthorne knows real estate and he (and his staff) will steer you in the right direction when it comes to buying/selling your home.
PROS: professional, dedicated, responsive, knowledgeable
I've gone into Knitter's Niche for questions about projects involving yarns purchased from this store, only I was made out to feel like I had no business trying to knit. The selection of yarns is ok, not great. They have big binders of patterns, but most things seem somewhat dated in style. Seems like a convenient shop for Lakeview knitters located on Belmont and Southport, but head elsewhere if you are new to knitting or require coaching along the way.
PROS: Close to "el" - main owner is quite a character
CONS: store lacks air conditioning
b. rose sticks by its policy that no kids are allowed in the salon unless they are over the age of 6 AND they have an appointment. Even if no one is in the salon in the middle of the week. Otherwise, a nice full service salon that is reasonably priced. some of my better hair cuts have come from b. rose, and I shop around quite a bit.
PROS: convenient to "el"
CONS: no kids policy during even slowest hours of the week